Dean's Team

The Dean's Team at the College of Business (CoB) is a group of undergraduate students who help answer questions that prospective students might have. Members of the Dean's Team go on trips to high schools and participate in activities on campus to share their experiences and words of wisdom with other Future Zips!

The Dean's Team at the College of Business (CoB)




Alyssa Alexsonshk

Hometown: Jackson Township, Ohio
High School: Jackson School for the Arts within Jackson High School and Hoover High School for Video Production Career Technical Education Program
Major and Minor: Marketing & Public Relations (Major), Entrepreneurship (Minor), Professional Social Media & Professional Selling (Certificate)
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Beta Gamma Sigma; Public Relations Student Society of America; National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key International Honor Society

Why the CoB?
I started my experience at The University of Akron as an exploratory student and was able to experience several different colleges before I found the College of Business. I chose the College of Business because everyone I met truly seemed invested in helping me find my personal path to success.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
Both of my majors were chosen because I was inspired by UA faculty who helped me find my passions in The College of Business and The School of Communication.

Favorite part of UA:
The faculty and staff are what truly makes The University of Akron special. I have experienced first-hand the brilliance of faculty members, and I am constantly finding myself inspired by the people I meet at UA. Through my time at UA, I have found so many great mentors and role models who have deeply impacted me.

Alyssa Alexonshk


Annamarie Nedeljkovic

Hometown: Parma, Ohio
High School: Valley Forge High School
Major and Minor: Marketing & Business Data Analytics (Major), Sports Management (Minor)
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
Beta Gamma Sigma – President; Delta Sigma Pi – Senior Vice President; The Institute for Leadership Advancement; Brand Marketing Intern – The J.M. Smucker Company; CRM Marketing Intern – CrossCountry Mortgage

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business due to its high reputation and support from faculty and staff. The College of Business provides endless opportunities to students and looks to build the next great leaders.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose a degree in Marketing with a second major in Analytics because of the ever growing world of data. I am able to combine my interest in overall brand strategy with artistic interests and data visualizations to help tell a story.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part about The University of Akron is the community feel in a large city. Akron is a large school with countless benefits and opportunities offered to students with its connection to the surrounding area. The University of Akron has endless opportunities for students and it really is a great investment for my future.

Annamarie Nedeljkovic


Ava Updegraff

Hometown: Tallmadge, Ohio
High School: Tallmadge High School
Major and Minor: Marketing (Major), Entrepreneurship (Minor) Professional Social Media (Certificate)
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Beta Gamma Sigma; Women in Business; Honors Business Association; Williams Honors College

Why the CoB?
The College of Business at the University of Akron is a welcoming environment, providing students with numerous resources and opportunities for success. Additionally, the college is staffed with an incredible group of faculty who cares about each and every student, working to ensure their success in the professional world. Finally, the College of Business has many opportunities for student involvement, from student organizations to professional development and networking events.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I am majoring in Marketing as it is a perfect combination of my love for mathematics, my interest in business, and my creative ability. It fulfills everything I am looking for in a career and it allows me to do something different every day.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part about the University of Akron is how it feels like home. The positive and supportive environment that the university provides is real and gives you a sense of belonging. There are so many incredible student organizations that you can join and have influence on. Additionally, everyone on campus is friendly and they become familiar faces. The staff is also incredible and will provide you the resources and support you need to succeed academically and professionally.

Ava Updegraff


Caitlin Croston

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Major and Minor: Human Resources Management (Major), Psychology (Minor), Information Systems (Minor)
Projected Graduation Date: May 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
SHRM, Beta Gamma Sigma, Institute for Leadership Advancement, Williams Honors College, Success Seminar Student Leader, Emerging Leaders Class of 2019-2020

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business at The University of Akron because it offers world-class, AASCB-accredited degrees at an affordable price. The faculty of the CoB enrich the learning experience through their dedication to student success, instructional expertise, and caring nature. Furthermore, I chose to pursue my undergraduate degree at an out-of-state school for a fresh start after high school, the ability to meet new people, and to live somewhere different!

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management because I want to make a difference in the work-lives of employees around the world. We spend about 90,000 hours of our lives on the clock. For something that makes up such a large portion of our lives, work should be a rewarding, engaging, and positive place to be – not one that is filled with stress and dissatisfaction. To further this goal, I hope to pursue a Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology after graduating.

Favorite part of UA:
By far, my favorite part of The University of Akron is the people I've been able to meet, the things I've gotten involved in, and the campus location. I have had some amazing experiences since I enrolled in 2019, including being a part of the Emerging Leaders Program, working on-campus in the Admissions office, being inducted to Beta Gamma Sigma, exploring campus and the surrounding areas, and meeting new people. I am so happy I chose UA for my college experience!

Caitlin Croston Caitlin Croston


Cherub Clarke

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Major and Minor: Financial Management (Major), Business Data Analytics (Major)
Projected Graduation Date: May 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Phi

Why the CoB?
The College of Business offers many great opportunities for their students and really helps aid them with the transition between school and the commerce world. They provide workshops to help understand and build connections which really helped me succeed in the best way I am able.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose to major in Financial Management initially due to my love of business and interest in commerce. I knew I wanted to do something that would be hard to just figure out by oneself, to really get the most out of my college years. I then decided to double major in Data Analytics as my microeconomics professor and chair of the economics department reached out to me to discuss my performance and suggested the double major.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part about UA would defiantly be the organizations where I have found many of my good friends, ones that I could consider life-long. The faculty has also provided me with some amazing memories as they only want to see you succeed and are willing to try their very best to help you find the path of that accomplishment.

Cherub Clarke


Dominic DiMascio

Hometown: Akron, Ohio
High School: Archbishop Hoban High School
Major and Minor: Sport Analytics & Sport Business
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Sport Analytics and Business Association (SABA) – President; Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Why the CoB?
I chose the college of business because it is allowing me to explore a career in sports while also giving me fundamental business knowledge.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose to double major in sport analytics and sport business because I've always had a passion in sports. These two new world class majors will allow me to explore different data and statistics within sports while also having an in-depth knowledge of the sales, marketing, and economic side of sports.

Favorite part of UA:
I have spent my entire life in Akron and I cannot imagine a better place to attend college. Over 20+ members from both my father’s and mother’s families have attended the University of Akron all the way back to my grandparents. The Zips have always been part of my family and I love being able to carry on the legacy.

Dominic DiMascio


Emma Miller

Hometown: Barberton, Ohio
High School: Barberton High School
Major: Marketing & Sales Management
Projected Graduation Date: December 2022

Professional/Student Organizations:
International Business Association – VP of Operations; Delta Sigma Pi – Chancellor; College of Business Dean's Team

Why the CoB?
I had multiple reasons to choose the College of Business (and The University of Akron in general). Through taking college courses in high school on campus, I immediately fell in love with the campus and the environment. It felt like a very inclusive university from the start. Upon looking into the CoB, I realized just how impressive are the professors, physical building, and accreditation. I was 17 when I first stepped foot into the CoB and it felt like the right fit for me instantaneously.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
When I was a junior in high school, I decided to join a program called DECA which was a marketing management-based program that involved creating campaigns, doing role plays, and competing against other students from around the state. After going to our state competition both my junior and senior years of high school, I knew marketing was a great fit for me. Once I took the Professional Selling course in the spring of 2020, I realized I also have a knack for sales and decided to add Sales Management as a second major.

Favorite part of UA:
Going to The University of Akron has been an incredible decision for me. I love multiple parts of it, but the faculty takes first place as my favorite part. The professors truly show an interest in the success and well-being of all students. They root for our success just as much as we do by encouraging us, inspiring us, and making sure we thoroughly understand the curriculum. I've always heard of large courses at universities where professors have no clue who you are and I'm incredibly grateful that the professors at UA go the extra mile to make sure we know they genuinely believe in our success.

Emma Miller


Gabrielle Williams

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
High School: Canal Winchester High School
Major and Minor: Marketing
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
College of Business Success Leader; Dean's Team

Why the CoB?
The College of Business has a great reputation. I knew I wanted to pursue a future in Business and the staff made it that much easier to pick The University of Akron's College of Business. They made me feel like I was an important part and that they cared about my future.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose marketing because it gives me the freedom to be creative while producing results. I am able to find and create new ways to boost sales, brand awareness, etc. I think that marketing is the most enjoyable part of business, and I am glad that I found interest in it.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part of the University of Akron is the community. The staff and students have made me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself. Since being here I have come out of my shell, and I am more outgoing than I have ever been.

Gabrielle Williams


Isabela Schroeter

Hometown: Mount Gilead, Ohio
High School: Ohio Virtual Academy
Major and Minor: Business Administration (Major), Human Resources (Minor)
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2025

Professional/Student Organizations:
Williams Honors College; Institute for Leadership Advancement; Campus Focus; College of Business Success Seminar Leader; Knack Tutor for the College of Business; Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Why the CoB?
I choose the College of Business because of the wonderful scholarship opportunities, great community, and faculty. I was so thankful that they had a general business study major (Business Administration) that I am able to expand on and use for my future career goals.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I selected my major in business (Business Administration and Human Resources) after realizing how much I loved the versatility of working in the business world, as well as how the attributes of leadership and teamwork are truly engraved in every element.

Favorite part of UA:
I love that the university has such a great group of diverse individuals from all over the world who want to succeed in their future career paths. I also greatly appreciate all of the opportunities I have been given thus far, not only to build myself but to help those around me.

Isabela Schroeter


Jacob Smudz

Hometown: Medina, Ohio
High School: Buckeye High School
Major: Accelerated BS/MSA program in Accounting
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Vice President of Finance for the Accounting Association; College of Business Dean's Team

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business because of its reputation and because of its proximity to my home. When I was conducting my college search, I was looking for a university that had a good reputation and a wide variety of majors/minors, if I decide to get a minor. The College of Business not only offers a variety of majors/minors to students, but it also is one of the best business schools in Ohio and in the nation, so I decided to make the College of Business my home. Additionally, its proximity to my home allows me to commute to school, which makes attending classes even easier.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose Accounting as my major because I've had an interest in the field for many years. I have family members who were accountants (which I always enjoyed learning what it was like) and I took a course in high school that officially introduced me to the field (which I found rather easy and enjoyable). These two experiences combined solidified my interest in accounting, which led to my decision to pursue Accounting as my major once I became a Zip.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part of the University of Akron would probably have to be its community. It's large enough that there's a wide variety of people that you're able to meet but small enough that you don't feel like just another cog in the machine. Furthermore, in my opinion, the smaller class sizes help to make the lessons a bit more personalized, and it also makes it easier to get help from professors (who, in my experience, have all been very willing to help students when they can).

Jacob Smudz


Jessica Da Silva Benevides

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
High School: ETEC Prof. Carmine Biagio Tundisi, Brazil
Major: Business Data Analytics
Projected Graduation Date: December 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
ArcBest – Summer 2022 Panther Logistics Intern; Delta Sigma Pi – President; College of Business Dean's Team

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business, at The University of Akron, because I was looking to have a high-quality study in The United States. I was also acquainted with its connection to LAIOB (Latin American Institute of Business) Experience, a program designed for Latin American executive students and which I am strongly familiar with.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
As soon as I started studying at the College of Business, COVID-19 surged and I had to study online for over a year. Despite these circumstances, I was able to excel in my courses, especially economics. After talking to my professors, I decided to major in business data analytics. This major is in great demand both in the US and Brazil, where I want to work in the future.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part about The University of Akron is the academic support it offers. It has great tutoring, scholarships, and academic involvement opportunities. Also, its faculty has been crucial to my academic and professional development.

Jessica Da Silva Benevides


Joe Walsh

Hometown: Akron, Ohio
High School: St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
Major and Minor: Sales Management
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2025

Professional/Student Organizations:
Fisher Sales Society; Fisher Sales Student Ambassador; Phi Delta Theta

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business because of how well they do at preparing students for their careers. From the wonderful faculty to the student organizations, the College of Business gives you all of the tools you need to be successful in any career you choose.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose Sales because ever since I was young, I realized I wanted to impact the people around me in the most positive way possible. As I have grown older, I have realized that I can do this through a profession. Sales is all about people, relationships, and helping people get to where they want to be.The College of Business, more specifically the Fisher Institute of Professional Selling, assured me I was choosing the right major. From my classes to my internships, I now know that this is the major for me.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part of The University of Akron is that although we are a big university, I feel it gives you a small university feeling. I feel very connected all throughout The University of Akron. The community here wants to see you succeed, so they will support you in any way you need!

Joe Walsh


Karissa Chin

Hometown: Mantua, Ohio
High School: Crestwood High School
Major and Minor: Business Data Analytics, with a Marketing minor
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Beta Gamma Sigma; Akron Civic Center; Honors Business Association; Knack Tutoring

Why the CoB?
I knew a Business degree was the most applicable for the work I wanted to pursue. That, combined with Akron's reputation as an engineering and business school and the College of Business being AACSB accredited made my decision very easy.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I didn't know what I wanted to study initially, but after taking some required economics courses I discovered I really enjoyed learning about economics (and marketing tactics of "you'd be really good at this" pulled me in a bit). I specifically chose Business Data Analytics, because it sounded more well-rounded for multiple areas of business than the Economics major. Since I'm still solidifying what I want to work in, the flexibility this major offers appealed to me.

Favorite part of UA:
I love The University of Akron's growing connection with the community/local businesses and small school feel. Additionally, all staff I've interacted with have been very down-to-earth and approachable.

Karissa Chin


Karleighana Jones

Hometown: White Plains, New York
High School: White Plains High School
Major: Business Data Analytics with concentrations in Finance and Marketing
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
Member of The University of Akron Women's Volleyball Team; Williams Honors College; UA Athletics Marketing Intern; Serve Akron Student Engagement Guide 2022-2023

Why the CoB?
The College of Business at The University of Akron is well known for its stellar reputation and inspiring faculty who are friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging. CoB professors create learning environments and experiences which inspire and motivate students to pursue their passions both in and out of the classroom. The multitude of networking opportunities CoB offers helps students make meaningful connections. The College of Business is a rigorous and well-rounded program. I am a proud member of the CoB Community.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose Business Data Analytics as my major because of my fascination with numbers, passion for math, and appreciation for problem solving. The analytical aspect of the major is designed to teach students how to apply numbers, projections, and forecasts to help businesses solve problems, develop, and grow. The Business Data Analytics Program is perfect for me because it combines business & economics with marketing & finance, which is an ideal blend for my entrepreneurial aspirations as well as my desire to help companies create data driven solutions to attain complex goals.

Favorite part of UA:
My absolute favorite part of The University of Akron is it's a close-knit community which provides me with numerous opportunities to foster friendships and develop meaningful connections with my professors. I also greatly appreciate that UA is a large, urban university with so many amazing opportunities, but it feels like a small community. UA's beautiful campus in downtown Akron and the proximity to Cleveland, Lake Erie, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, two airports, and so many charming towns are also favorites of mine.

Karleighana Jones


Laura Tucker

Hometown: Massillon, Ohio
Major and Minor: Accounting (Major)
Projected Graduation Date: May 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
Delta Sigma Pi, Leap Mentor, CoB Dean's Team

Why the CoB?
I picked the College of Business because I have always had a passion for business. I love math and seeing the background work for businesses and corporations. I've always wanted to be in the business field.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I went into college as Business Undecided because I wasn't sure what I specifically wanted to major in. I ended up picking Accounting after talking with my professors and going to job fairs and talking to employers. After hearing about Audit Accounting, I knew it mixed my people skills with my math skills in a way that excited me.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part about the University of Akron is how personalized they make everyone's experience. They work with everyone one on one to make sure that you are getting involved, keeping up in classes, and give you a ton of advice on how to be successful!

Laura Tucker


Matthew Chaffin

Hometown: Salem, Ohio
High School: Salem High School
Major: Business Data Analytics
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2024

Professional/Student Organizations:
President of Bowling Club; Varsity Captain of Bowling Club Tournament Team; Treasurer of Commuter Student Organization; Economics Club

Why the CoB?
After visiting, it was clear that the College of Business was the correct choice. I was looking for a College with a quality business program that was close to home. The University of Akron had everything I was looking for in and out of the classroom. I knew I could grow into a professional in the College of Business because of the amazing seminars, workshops, and events they offer. As my education continued, the professors and staff proved to be the best support by providing astounding guidance and wisdom. The College of Business gives you the upper hand to succeed.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I knew that with my lifestyle and interests I would be a good fit for a business-oriented major. I liked math and analyzing material when I was in high school. At the start of my college career, I originally majored in accounting, but I soon found a love for economics. In my first year of being in the College of Business, my professors in micro and macroeconomics were able to recognize my potential and point me in the correct direction. The College of Business has a wide arrange of majors to choose from and I knew that I could pick one that would fit my life perfectly. This realization and point of change in my life was the best decision I could have made for my future. I put all of my interests together and soon changed my major to Business Data Analytics. With the College of Business and Department of Economics guidance, I can rest assured that I will be successful in my future endeavors.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part of UA is all that it has to offer. There are many clubs and organizations on campus to be involved in. I bowled in high school and was super thrilled I could continue in college. I have made many friends and connections by joining student organizations and I would highly recommend finding one that fits your interests!

Matthew Chaffin


Shareef Awadallah

Hometown: Green, Ohio
Major and Minor: International Business
Projected Graduation Date: Spring 2025

Professional/Student Organizations:
UA Student Ambassadors; Goodyear Driving Opportunity Scholars; Zips Recruiting Club; Life As a Zip Social Media Team; Summer 2022 Goodyear Global Procurement Intern; Williams Honors College

Why the CoB?
UA's College of Business stood out to me due to the importance of professional development within the curriculum. It's exciting to take major-specific courses, but it is even more impactful when it is coupled with the integration of networking skills, resume workshops, and internship experience.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I've always had a passion for traveling and learning about new places, which motivated me to look into International Business. Learning about how to handle business in different parts of the world is a really neat topic to me. While interning at Goodyear, it's been incredible to witness all that goes in to operating a multinational corporation.

Favorite part of UA:
I love all of the community spaces on campus. Last year, my friends and I2requented the Roo Lounge and Rec very often, and it was always nice to see familiar faces and meet new people. The sense of community between students and faculty at The University of Akron is extremely special, and made my first year extraordinary.

Shareef Awadallah


Sophia Marcum

Hometown: North Canton, Ohio
Major and Minor: Financial Management (Major), Economics (Minor), Spanish (Minor)
Projected Graduation Date: May 2023

Professional/Student Organizations:
Financial Analyst Intern - Wells Fargo; Financial Analyst Intern - Timken; President - Financial Management Association; Co-president - Gamma Iota Sigma; VP of Finance - International Business Association; UA Investment Club; Women in Business; Williams Honors College.

Why the CoB?
I chose the College of Business because of the fantastic opportunities the College offers from the moment you step foot on campus. From the amazing scholarship support to the dedication to individual professional development, I knew there would be no better place for me to begin my business education.

Why Did You Choose Your Major?
I chose Financial Management because I have always loved working with numbers and making decisions based on facts. I enjoy working in a field that allows me to work on individual projects while also having plenty of opportunities to collaborate with others to do what is best for a company.

Favorite part of UA:
My favorite part of UA is being able to attend a large school in a big city, but always seeing a familiar face no matter where I am around campus.

Sophia Marcum